Wedding bells to chime for N.B. premier in intimate ceremony next month
It's not often Canadians get a look at the personal lives of politicians, but with a wedding day approaching, New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant and his fiancée Karine Lavoie are opening up about balancing wedding plans and politics, do-it-yourself projects, and their journey to the altar.
“We did the whole wedding binder thing to see what we needed and when we needed to have it checked off, so it's been really fun to have him during this whole process,” Lavoie says.
Despite Gallant’s high-profile job and jam-packed schedule, he and Lavoie say they try to remain as low-key as their first date – a blind setup at a Moncton pizza shop two years ago.
It's been seven months since he popped the question in Memramcook, N.B., and he still remembers how nervous he was leading up to it.
“This time, she actually didn't want to come to the event that I had faked so I could surprise her with the proposal,” Gallant says. “I was just panicking the day before because I was like, 'I think it would really be important that you come to this event.’”
“I was thrilled,” Lavoie says. “All the emotions you could imagine. I think I cried the whole walk towards him, and I was just so happy.”
The couple is aiming for a simple wedding with fewer than 100 close friends and family members at the ceremony, but many more at the reception.
Lavoie’s recently-married twin sister and Gallant's brother will serve as maid of honour and best man, though they say their beloved dog Blaze will play some kind of role in the wedding.
Gallant and Lavoie have kept the actual date of their wedding under wraps, but they have revealed the big day is just around the corner.
“It's actually going to be in October of this year, and it's going to be in St. Andrews, which is a beautiful spot, at the Algonquin,” Gallant says.
The couple was always aiming for a fall wedding, and knew the lead-up to next year's provincial election would make things difficult.
They'll also forgo a lavish honeymoon in favour of time spent in their home province.
“After the wedding we're just going to take a few days to spend time together and sort of recoup from all the fun and the planning of the wedding,” says Gallant. “After that we'll be going into the legislature, so there's not too much time for anything else.”
The couple says both sides of their families are looking forward to the intimate ceremony, but the day will carry extra weight for Lavoie, who lost her mother last year after a battle with cancer.
“We know she's around. We know she's there, so I look for signs. She gives me little signs and that kind of kept us going while we planned our wedding,” says Lavoie.
The couple says they believe her presence will be felt when the wedding bells ring.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Cami Kepke.